Monday, January 19, 2009


Heavy Rains Cause Flooding in Pewaukee

All afternoon on Saturday, June 7, 2008, both radio and TV weathercasters warned Wisconsin of the severe storms streaming from the west. As 5:00 pm approached the dark clouds swiftly swallowed Pewaukee and the rain began. The increase in wave action gives an indication of the strength of the wind. These photos were taken only seconds apart as the storm swept across Pewaukee Lake.


Thursday, April 03, 2008


River Monitor Recruitment Drive Announced



A River Invitation for You -- Panel Presenters

Thomas Slawski, PhD, has worked for the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) since 1998. As Principal Planner he provides stream and lake environmental management planning support to local communities in Southeast Wisconsin.

Michelle Schneider is the WDNR Dam Safety/Floodplain Engineer in Waukesha and Walworth Counties. She has worked for the DNR in both Watershed and Groundwater programs since 2001.

David White is Director of Public Works for the Village of Pewaukee. He oversees the operation of the Pewaukee Lake Dam as well as the other environmental programs in the Village.

Jayne Jenks works for Waukesha County in the Park and Land Use Department, Land Resources Division. She has worked there for 17 years on agriculture and urban runoff issues as well as storm water education.

Ray Schwabe has been a river monitor since 2005. This summer will be his third season as Coordinator of the Pewaukee River Monitoring Program.




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Friday, February 08, 2008


Public Meeting Rescheduled

The date of the Downriver Impact Initiative public meeting has been rescheduled from March 27th to April 3, 2008. Members at their last meeting (January 24th) decided since the original date fell within the week after Easter, public attendance would be adversely affected. Therefore, they voted to reschedule the meeting a week later. The meeting will be held at the Pewaukee Public Library.

Plans for the meeting have been further developed. The meeting will focus on water levels in the River downstream from the Pewaukee Lake outfall. The first part of the meeting will be a brief panel presentation from a group of speakers representing the Wisconsin DNR, Southeastern Wisconsin Plan Commission (SEWRPC), Waukesha Parks & Land Use and the Village of Pewaukee Public Works Department. That would be followed by an open discussion between the panel and the audience. The purpose of the meeting is twofold: act as a way to provide information about how the dam is operated/regulated and create a way for PRP to find ways to work with members of the local community for the protection and promotion of the Pewaukee River.

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Clean Boats, Clean Waters Workshop

Charlie Shong, Vice-president of PRP and Superintendent of the Lake Pewaukee Sanitary District, has requested that we post this announcement. He has worked with the local Girl Scout Troop to organize this program locally as well as publicize it statewide.

Clean Boats, Clean Waters Workshop Opportunity:
Stopping the spread of invasive species… how you can help!

Workshop Location:
Geneva Town Hall N3496 Como Road, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Workshop Date and Time:
Saturday, March 8, 2008 – 9:00am – noon (registration/sign in at 8:30)

With the growing concern over the spread of aquatic invasive species to Wisconsin’s inland lakes, many lake association members and other concerned citizens are looking for ways to get involved.

The Clean Boats, Clean Waters volunteer watercraft inspection program assists Wisconsin residents in stopping the spread of invasive species. The Wisconsin DNR, UW-Extension and Wisconsin Association of Lakes are offering training and resource kits to be used by volunteers at boat landings. The resource kit aids volunteers in looking for and identifying Eurasian water-milfoil, zebra mussels and other threatening invasive species. Additionally, these materials help volunteers establish a volunteer watercraft inspection program for their lake. This program is an opportunity for volunteers to take a frontline defense against aquatic invasive species. The Clean Boats, Clean Waters inspection program encourages boaters to take preventive measures to help stop the spread of invasives from lake to lake.

Workshops are open to adults and youth. Adults or lake associations interested in participating and receiving a handbook and resource kit are strongly encouraged to work with a local youth partner.

The workshop is FREE. However, for those participants planning to organize a volunteer launch inspection program, we highly recommend purchasing a resource kit for $25.00. Resource kits are worth well over $100 and include a handbook and educational materials, a DVD, invasive species identification cards, watercraft inspection stickers, and T-shirts to wear during the watercraft inspections.

Pre-registration is required. Please contact Audrey Greene, Walworth County Land Use & Resource Management at (262) 741-7902 or for more information or to register.

Hope to see you there!


Sunday, February 03, 2008


4th Annual Monitor Appreciation Event

Each year Waukesha County, Department of Parks and Land Use, honors the volunteer river monitors in the county. This year the program will start with a planetarium show at Retzer Nature Center followed by the dinner and awards ceremony at which the Pewaukee River Partnership monitors will be among those honored. Jayne Jenks, Waukesha County conservation specialist, coordinates the program.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


River Alliance Speaker

Allison Werner, Local Groups Program Manager, for the River Alliance of Wisconsin will address members of PRP at their January 24th meeting. She will speak about the mission of the River Alliance in working with local groups such as PRP. In addition she will relate activities of other river groups and show how they can be related to the work of PRP.

The January 24th meeting will begin at 7:00 pm at the North Shore Bank (upstairs meeting room accessed from rear parking lot) located at 120 W. Wisconsin in Pewaukee. A brief business meeting will follow.

Anyone interested in river work is welcome to attend!

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Person of the Year

The Pewaukee Chamber of Commerce has named Mary Schwister, president of the Pewaukee River Partnership, the 2007 Person of the Year. The James Murphy Ward was established in 1981 by the Pewaukee Chamber to recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership in community or business activities. Mary will be honored at the banquet on January 23, 2008.

In her nomination letter Kelly Woldanski, director of the Pewaukee Park and Recreation Department, cited Mary's work to protect the wetlands as well as the Pewaukee River. In 2006/7 the PRP had formed a partnership with Pewaukee Park & Rec, the Lake Pewaukee Sanitary District and the Wisconsin DNR to build the 400 ft. wetland boardwalk and nine informational signs in Simmons Woods Park.

This past summer PRP worked under Mary's direction to clear brush as the first step in restoring Lynn Path, a walkway along the Pewaukee River. Plans are being developed to improve the adjacent river banks and bed.

Mary has also directed the PRP sense of place project called "Pewaukee Is Our Place". A total of 35 CD recordings have been made of the memories of long-term residents of Pewaukee. One propose of the project is to collect information about the historical interaction between the Pewaukee community and the Pewaukee River & Watershed. The project will produce 100 recordings and place copies of them in the Pewaukee Public Library as well as the Pewaukee Area Historical Society.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007


Downriver Impact Iniative,

Members of the Pewaukee River Partnership decided that an important part of the Iniative would be to involve those who either lived or worked on the River. Consequently, they decided to develop a community informational meeting on March 26, 2008 at the Pewaukee Public Library.
The meeting will feature a brief panel discussion by representatives from the DNR, SEWERPAC, the Village Public Works Department and Waukesha County followed by an question period open to the audience.
The results of the river level testing as well as analysis of available research documents will also be shared with the audience.
It is hoped that this meeting will lead to new avenues for implementing the mission of PRP to "preserve, protect, promote and enhance the Pewaukee River and its watershed..."

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Analysing Collected Data

Another facet of the Downriver Impact Iniative will be the analysis of data already collected by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Plan Commission (SEWRPAC).
Considerable information was collected within the last ten years as the Village investigated the impact that the dam shadow would have on the downtown area in the event of severe flooding or failure of the dam. These documents are readily available for research.



Dam Influence on River

One of the areas to be considered in the Downriver Impact Iniative will be the regulation of the Pewaukee Lake Dam.
Guidelines for operation of the dam have been developed by the DNR. The Pewaukee Village Public Works Department is responsible to implementing the guidelines.
Consequently PRP will work with both to try to understand the relationship between lake levels as controlled by the dam and the fluctuation in the river levels.


River Level Testing

In order for the Downriver Impact Iniative to be credible, testing of the River levels will begin as soon as the project can be set up. It will be important to do the testing at a consistent time and place at a regular interval. Atty Dan Fay has offered to have his staff do the testing as soon as the project can be set up.
Charlie Shong of the Lake Pewaukee Sanitary District will order and install a staff guage on the Oakton Avenue bridge in such a position that Atty Fay's employees will be able to take readings on a daily basis. These readings will then be available for analysis.
Since the Village Public Works Department records daily precipitation events, PRP will be able to coordinate them with the staff guage readings.


Downriver Impact Iniative

A new program called the Downriver Impact Iniative was drawn up at the November 29th meeting of the Pewaukee River Partnership in response to the request of Atty Dan Fay.
Members felt that this program should have two areas of focus:
1. determine the fluctuation frequency through testing
2. work with the DNR, Sewerpac and Pewaukee Village Public Works Department to understand the issues involved
3. develop a way to promote a better understanding of the issues by those who either live or work on the River.

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River Request

On October 23, 2007 PRP received a request from Atty Dan Fay of Pewaukee to consider investigation of the regulation of water depth in the Pewaukee River. His office is located along the River and he is concerned about frequent level fluctuations which affect both aquatic plants and animals.

Atty Fay's letter was discussed by the PRP Board of Directors at its November 8th meeting. A decision was made to forward the request to the membership at the November 29th meeting with the recommendation that a program be started to address the issue.

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Monday, December 17, 2007


Pewaukee Is Our Place

Thiry five recordings of personal histories related to the River or watershed have been completed. The most recent recordings focused on the Woman's Club of Pewaukee, the Pewaukee Hardware & Lumber Company, the Hansen Oil Company and the McQuire Cottage.

The project goal is to make 100 recordings. Copies of the CD recordings are being donated to both the Pewaukee Area Historical Society and the Pewaukee Public Library.
While these interviews include general history of Pewaukee, the interviewer seeks to gather information about the history of the Pewaukee River as seen by people who lived in the area.



Siepmann Parking Lot Proposal

Jim Siepmann, developer of the Main Street Retail Center on Wisconsin Avenue, met with the Pewaukee River Partnership last July to explain plans for developing a "summertime" parking lot between the rear of the stores and the railroad tracks.
Because the outfall from Pewaukee Lake as well as the Pewaukee River would be directly impacted by this plan, Siepmann asked that PRP actually work with him to develop the site to control stormwater run off in a way that would be compatible with the River.
Siepmann Realty has continued with the process of obtaining the necessary permits to go ahead with this project. It is hoped that work on the project will be ready to start in the spring.

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